By Vladimir Hernandez
Laundry is strung outside the house. The water comes from a well in a yard, overgrown with weeds. Only two police officers and Manuela, a three-legged dog, keep watch outside.
This is the residence of the president of Uruguay, Jose Mujica, whose lifestyle clearly differs sharply from that of most other world leaders.
President Mujica has shunned the luxurious house that the Uruguayan state provides for its leaders and opted to stay at his wife's farmhouse, off a dirt road outside the capital, Montevideo.
The president and his wife work the land themselves, growing flowers.
This austere lifestyle - and the fact that Mujica donates about 90% of his monthly salary, equivalent to $12,000 (£7,500), to charity - has led him to be labelled the poorest president in the world.
"I've lived like this most of my life," he says, sitting on an old chair in his garden, using a cushion favoured by Manuela the dog.
"I can live well with what I have."
His charitable donations - which benefit poor people and small entrepreneurs - mean his salary is roughly in line with the average Uruguayan income of US$775 (£485) a month.
In 2010, his annual personal wealth declaration - mandatory for officials in Uruguay - was $1,800 (£1,100), the value of his 1987 Volkswagen Beetle.
This year, he added half of his wife's assets - land, tractors and a house - reaching $215,000 (£135,000).
That's still only about two-thirds of Vice-President Danilo Astori's declared wealth, and a third of the figure declared by Mujica's predecessor as president, Tabare Vasquez.
Elected in 2009, Mujica spent the 1960s and 1970s as part of the Uruguayan guerrilla Tupamaros, a leftist armed group inspired by the Cuban revolution.
He was shot six times and spent 14 years in jail. Most of his detention was spent in harsh conditions and isolation, until he was freed in 1985 when Uruguay returned to democracy.
Those years in jail, Mujica says, helped shape his outlook on life.
"I'm called 'the poorest president', but I don't feel poor. Poor people are those who only work to try to keep an expensive lifestyle, and always want more and more," he says.
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